updated 08:55 pm EDT, Mon October 18, 2010
Wholesale Apps Community now 48 members strong
The Wholesale Applications Community (WAC) founded earlier this year has just aggregated 32 new members. The newcomers include Opera Software, Oracel, Fujitsu, Rogers and China Unicom, among others, joining the original 24 companies such as LG, Samsung, Telefonica and Orange. The goal of the alliance is to create a common, global app store that will offer software for multiple platforms and devices.
WAC acquired the Joint Innovation Lab (JIL) in April. JIL, made up of Vodafone, Verizon Wireless, China Mobile and Softbank Mobile, had similar goals to create a far-reaching app store. The merger was completed earlier in October and has allowed the released of WAC 1.0 based on JIL's existing specs. The standard should allow for mobile apps for every mobile phone and not be relegate to a specific type or OS.
The group aims to simplify creating and deploying mobile apps for developers, letting them sell their creations globally and for multiple member networks. The reach of all the members is estimated at more than three billion customers across the world.
Each participant can choose the level of membership. Board members such as Accenture, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Qualcomm and Samsung each contribute €300,000 (about $420,000) a year for membership, while sponsors like Alcatel-Lucent, Fujitsu, and LG Electronics, pay half of that. Associates (Aplix, LiMo, Oberthur, Opera, Oracle and ZTE, among others) pay €30,000 (about $42,000). Together, the 48 members invested some €4 million (about $5.6) thus far into the venture.
Operators and sponsors can run app stores. The WAC was started by the GSM Association and is meant to challenge the dominance of the Apple App Store, Android Market and other platforms. [via ReadWriteWeb]